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PCC’s Harvest Festival gets green

Story by James Hill. Photos by Gabriel McGovern.

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Free Pumpkins

Halloween is associated with orange and black. But this year, Portland Community College is adding one more color to the mix – green.

Sustainability and green practices will be the theme for the ninth annual Harvest Festival, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, Rock Creek Campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road. The suggested donation is $5 per family, which includes, as long as the supply lasts, a free pumpkin from the Rock Creek Campus pumpkin patch. In addition, visitors gain free admission to the Washington County Historical Society Museum and the Landscape Technology program will host a plant sale at the same time.

Visitors will get a chance to see Rock Creek’s loop program, which includes growing cafeteria food in campus gardens and vermi-composting cafeteria food scraps and returning nutrient-rich worm castings to the garden soil. This practice creates a closed-loop system – the heart of sustainable practices. As a result, the campus was named Educational Recycler of the Year by the Association of Oregon Recyclers in 2008.

harvest-01“Rock Creek has been a leader in sustainable practices with a wonderful on-going tradition of inviting the community to their community college,” said David Rule, Rock Creek Campus president. “It’s a family day for us. I love bringing my children to the Harvest Festival. I had a great time last year and we are looking forward to doing it again.”

Rule is right. The festival is popular with younger folks and attracts more than 1,000 people every year to the pumpkin patch and the campus. Along with the pumpkins, the festival will include hayrides, a petting zoo featuring the animals of the PCC Rock Creek farm, face and pumpkin painting, musical entertainment, raffles, a contest to guess the weight of a pumpkin, balloon artist, and plenty of arts and crafts. Metro also will be on hand to educate people about how to keep their homes healthy and free of toxins with several staffed booths. Capping off the day will be sustainability tours and an earthen oven demonstration.

For more information about the Harvest Festival, call (503) 614-7379.

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